An Introduction to Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease has a prevalence of 1 in 100. It affects people of all ages although the most common age of diagnosis is between 40 and 50 years.

It is an ‘auto-immune’ disease which means a life-long intolerance to gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Symptoms are varied and include bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, neurological symptoms and infertility.

Damage to the villi reduces absorption of important nutrients and may result in anaemia. Treatment for coeliac disease is a gluten free diet, which must be adhered to for life.

Good dietetic support to a coeliac patient, both initially at diagnosis and via regular follow up is essential for compliance with a gluten free diet and to ensure that the overall diet is nutritious and appropriate for long-term health, especially to help prevent or treat complications such as osteoporosis, constipation and lactose intolerance.

Several other diseases or conditions are linked to coeliac disease, such as Hashimotos and Type 1 Diabetes which may require additional support.

Warburtons Gluten Free prescription range

The Warburtons Gluten Free Range is available to order in pharmacies for patients who have been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease.

At Warburtons we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy beautifully baked bread. That’s why we have our dedicated gluten, wheat and milk free bakery, to produce our free from range. Our products undergo gluten free testing and have Coeliac UK’s seal of approval to put the Cross Grain symbol on each of our packs. This is internationally recognised as being safe for those with coeliac disease.

The Warburtons Gluten Free range is available to order in pharmacies. This range includes fresh white and brown loaves and rolls (all of which are fortified to be high in calcium and provide a source of iron).

In addition to the Warburtons Gluten Free range available in pharmacies; our Warburtons Gluten Free range is available in supermarkets nationwide.

Our range of delicious gluten free products ensures that those with coeliac disease can not only offset the loss of important ingredients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals lost by excluding dietary staples like bread and cereals, but it also means they don’t have to miss out on all those delicious  bakery products they love.

Availability and delivery information

Warburtons Gluten Free products are available to order through both PHOENIX Healthcare and AAH Pharmaceuticals – in England, Wales and Scotland. Please note that, at present, we are unable to supply to Northern Ireland. We are currently exploring options and hope to reinstate our service in the future.

We bake to order once per week, and orders must be placed by Friday. They are then freshly baked and delivered to pharmacies for collection the following Monday (PHOENIX) and Tuesday/Wednesday (AAH).

All of our fresh products are available as 1 case of 4 units, to encourage variety in the diet, and avoid the need for patients to bulk freeze, which we know can be difficult.

Helping those with coeliac disease understand dietary balance

To begin, patients need to understand which foods and ingredients are free from gluten, as these should form the basis of their diet:

Gluten Free Foods:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beans and pulses
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Nuts, seeds and grains
  • Wild rice
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Millet

Maintaining calcium intake

During initial diagnosis, it is possible that patients may suffer from secondary lactose intolerance due to gut inflammation, and while this resolves as the gut heals, it can take several years.

Therefore, adequate dietary advice is vital during this time to ensure patients are consuming calcium from non-milk sources. All Warburtons Gluten Free pharmacy products are milk free and our bread and rolls are fortified with calcium. Other calcium sources include:

  • Fortified milk alternatives
  • Canned sardine
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon with bones
  • Tahini
  • Plain tofu
  • Dried figs
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Baked beans
  • Oranges

Paying attention to fibre intake: A gluten free diet can mean patients miss out on essential dietary fibre (the recommended daily intake is 30g of fibre a day) however, it is important for maintaining a healthy weight and balanced blood sugar.

Ensuring sufficient iron intake: Anaemia is common following coeliac disease diagnosis, and in some cases an iron supplement may be recommended. Warburtons Gluten Free pharmacy bread and rolls have been fortified with iron, however other sources include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Sesame seeds
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Liver
  • Tofu
  • Olives
  • Quinoa
  • Dried figs
  • Apricots

Ensure patients read food labels

Allergen labelling laws ensure that all 14 known allergens are now clearly emphasised in bold (or in italics / highlighted text) in ingredients lists on food packaging in the United Kingdom.

Also, ‘May Contain’ labels usually relate to possible contamination during the manufacturing process, and if a product states it may contain wheat, oats, rye or barley then it should be taken seriously.

It’s advised that patients contact the Coeliac UK helpline on 0845 305 2060 to confirm whether a product that carries a warning is safe to consume, or alternatively, they should check the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory.

Downloadable resources

Find more information in the below documents.

 Our Pharmacy Range Leaflet  Dietitian Letter